Wiley has published an article by Michael R. Koval in the 08 February 2018 issue of Journal of Legal Studies Education (Vo. 35, Issue 1) called How Shorebilly Brewing Company Won the Trademark Battle, but Lost the War: A Cautionary Tale for Entrepreneurs.** © 2018 The Author Journal of Legal Studies Education © 2018 Academy of Legal Studies in Business.

The article is quite interesting because it covers not only the legal issues and history involved in a trademark dispute, but the practical impacts on the businesses involved. I find it relatively rare and refreshing for an analysis to review a lawsuit from a vantage point considering both the legal and business issues. When businesses make decisions about enforcing or defending trademarks, about suing or appealing, about adopting a name with enhance risks, about possibly changing a brand name, and more, they must consider not only the law but the expenses and the impacts on their businesses. Having a great case may not matter if one cannot afford to defend it. Having a weak case is often masked by money and tactics. In general, more discussion of the way that business decisions, the law, and legal strategies intersect would be a good thing.

Such decisions are the situations and decisions that experienced trademark counsel help business owners with all of the time. A lot of trademark law comes down to assessing what the risks of a situation or action or decision are, deciding how to proceed based on the risks and the goals.

** FULL DISCLOSURE: I represented for Shorebilly Brewing in their USPTO filings, and I was deposed and testified as a witness in the District Court case.

The Wiley article also references the documentary Blood, Sweat, & Beer. which also covers some of the business decisions involved in the Shorebilly Brewing case and is quite good.

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